May 29, 2016

The Art of the Matter | Library by Design, Spring 2016

On the plaza outside the Main Library in Palo Alto, CA, six sculptures made from crowdsourced community text change color in response to patrons’ touch. Danielle Wyckoff’s Surroundings in Park City Library, UT. 
Palo Alto photo ©Cesar Rubio; Surroundings photo by Nicholas Swan

Why does art in libraries matter? Erinn Batykefer of the Library as Incubator Project (and a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker) cites public art’s role in promoting creativity. “Visible art in the library space, whether through gallery shows, public art or performance, or hands-on workshops, is incredibly important in terms of the ‘incubator library’—a space where the right conditions for creative thought and new ideas are protected and promoted,” she tells LJ. “It serves as a visible representation of the connection among information and creativity and innovation…making the library a visible place where creativity is valued and nurtured.” She adds, “Every library, stripped to its barest mission, seeks to connect people with information. Art is information—the product of a creative process and the process itself.”

Work/Space | Library by Design, Spring 2016

At left, flexible reference desk space at the Munday 
Library, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX.

The world of academic libraries is constantly changing. Many libraries, for example, have undergone radical spatial changes in recent years, positioning themselves as campus centers for study and socializing. These shifts focus on the student’s or library patron’s experience but show little concern for how librarians’ work spaces are changing to meet the profession’s new demands. Finding minimal literature on this topic, we decided to issue a survey directly to academic librarians to delve into their roles and how their spaces affect the quality of their work.

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Fall 2015

ljx150902webLBDpickFreeport1

Recently completed building projects offer refreshing and unexpected design solutions to serve patrons.

Product Sourcebook | Library by Design, Fall 2015

ljx150902webLBDG-Rocking Bowl

Library by Design’s Product Sourcebook spotlights a curated selection of newly introduced library furnishings and finishings in key purchasing categories, which will rotate from issue to issue. This edition focuses on library products for children and powered furniture.

UpClose: Rooted in Nature | Library by Design, Fall 2015

ljx150902webLBDprofile2

The Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest opened in 2010 as Alabama’s first LEED Gold–certified library. The library takes its forest namesake very seriously: fewer than 25 percent of the trees on the site were disturbed in the building’s construction, and no tree more than 40 feet from the building was cut down. Of those that were removed, more than 80 percent were reincorporated into the library itself. The ceilings are made of pine; the entry hall is poplar; the service desks, fireplace exterior cladding, and doors to the community room are made of oak.

UpClose: Alachua Library Keeps Its Cool | Library by Design, Fall 2015

ljx150902webLBDProfile1

In hot climates, air conditioning is a necessity to keep libraries livable for patrons and staff, especially during the summer. Climate warming is only exacerbating that situation. Unfortunately, air conditioning in turn accelerates climate warming. Now, innovative alternative cooling systems are looking to reduce that environmental impact, and the Alachua County Library District (ACLD), Gainesville, FL, is leading by example.

11 Additional Exemplars | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Honorable Mentions

ljx150902LBDnllGonzales

The New Landmark Library Honorable Mentions share an emphasis on light, sustainability, and community connection that will inspire library projects nationwide.

San Diego Central Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

ljx150902LBDnllSanDiego

Iconic. That word comes up again and again in descriptions of the soaring new San Diego Central Library. A lattice dome tops the warm wood and concrete nine-story structure, a striking presence in the city’s skyline. It is a fitting tribute to the 30 years of effort and almost unprecedented philanthropy from community members that went into creating the landscape-changing new library.

Cedar Rapids Public Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

ljx150902LBDnllCedarRap

Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Public Library faced disaster in 2008: a “500-year flood” that ruined homes, businesses, and the main, downtown branch of the public library. The library was filled with eight feet of water, which damaged the building and materials beyond repair. A group with a vision saw the silver lining and seized the opportunity to plan for a new library based on three main ideas.

Lawrence Public Library | New Landmark Libraries 2015 Winner

ljx150902LBDnllLawrence

The Lawrence Public Library, KS, knows how to put a new twist on an old idea. Instead of tearing down or cobbling together an addition to its dark 1970s building, it encapsulated the entire existing structure inside a gleaming new one.